ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - Whether in a South Jones or Jones County Junior College uniform, Scott Phillips has been tearing up Ellisville turf and weaving through defenses for a number of years.
"[Phillips] helps us a lot," said JCJC sophomore quarterback Detric Hawthorn. "He knows how to carry that thing."
In 2016, Hawthorn witnessed first-hand just how well Phillips can carry the football.
Phillips rushed for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns in his freshman season, earning NJCAA All-American honors and several scholarship offers from the likes of Mississippi State and LSU. This summer, Phillips verbally committed to Ole Miss.
"Hard work pays off," Phillips said. "I go out every day, compete hard with my teammates and just get better. I've been a fan of Ole Miss for some years now and I always wanted to play there. It helps a lot to know the recruiting process is about over with. It just helps me focus on the season."
Phillips will have the opportunity to learn under Rebels running backs coach Derrick Nix, who's 3,584 career rushing yards at Southern Miss ranks third in the program's history.
Second-year Bobcats head coach Steve Buckley believes Phillips has all the makings to be a productive Division I back.
"Physical, top-end speed, can make you miss, intelligent, pass-protect, he's a total package," Buckley said. "A lot of your colleges come in and recruit third-down backs, some guys want every-down backs. Scott's an every-down back. Scotty's a complete guy. He's got top-end speed, and he can make you miss and he's a physical runner."
Phillips enters his sophomore season with JCJC coming off an average of 123.6 rushing yards per game last year - which ranked third in the nation.
The running back's time in Oxford will come. For now, Phillips is focused on his last football season in Ellisville.
"Personally, just get better every day," Phillips said. "Work on my craft, just perfect it. Do what I do: Run hard, know my role and do my job."